Wednesday, November 14, 2007

George Laakso's Sculpture

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Very often in Art History the individual Artist has very little to do with his own legacy; particularly in the case of a relatively short life span. When there is a large collection of work as in the case of George Laakso and an eventful life, which was shared by his surviving widow Ruth, who passed away recently in April of 2007, there is a lot of information which needs to be put in order. The value of this is that the past and present collectors and art appreciators can have some idea of the biographies and extent of the Laakso’s contribution in Art.
You never really know how time will judge an artist. Sometimes they can fall out of view for 50 or 100 years or more before their full worth is realized and then again there really is never a final assessment or value for an Artwork. It might be interesting to note that da Vinci who died in the arms of the French King disappeared from view, as an important artist, for hundreds of years. It was only when a rather small portrait called Mona Lisa surfaced that there was a renewed interest in da Vinci’s paintings and then his codices and later his sculpture. And we can repeat a similar story for Rembrandt.
Did anyone believe in Vincent Van Gogh’s Art other than his brother Theo who fortunately was an Art dealer and yes, of course the one person who purchased one of Vincent’s paintings during his lifetime. So, Art is really the one thing that never really dies. As long as it exists the energy that artist put forth dwells in this object.
Robert Henri author of the Art Spirit said it best, when to paraphrase, ‘An Artist creates an exact record of himself at that moment and such a thing will never be produced again.’
When you navigate this site it is broken down into various categories and they relate in turn to date chronology, bibliography of articles written and known works by George Laakso and collections the work is in.
I was able to go through a complete portfolio of Georges work, as well a countless pictures and notes. For me this was a Labor of Love for I have know both the Laakso’s well since 1969 when I began exhibiting in their Studio-Gallery in Virginia Beach. Although I moved out of the area for many years it was my good fortune to again relocate here and pick-up my friendship with Ruth Laakso.
Ruth and I had recently discussed organizing Georges work, as his life had so abruptly ended of a heart attack in 1981. Ruth continued to paint for another 26 years until being hospitalized, before her death, at age 87. Without question I was impressed as a young man with this dynamic couple and today nearly 40 years later I hope this site will help to define and give homage to their gifts and dedication.
Because the Laakso’s were Working Artists, continuing to create almost daily, there was an endless seam of Artwork and projects in the making. As it turns out there are works by both Laakso’s that have been made and never were released for sale. In the case of George he was working on a sculptural interpretation of the Mythology of Finland, known as the Kalevala. This he defined as his Life's’ Work and it was his final effort.
We are fortunate to be able to offer this and many of Georges artworks, on this site. These works will be listed under Gallery Offerings at